You know what's scarier than death? Birth.
For those of you about to have your first child, or who are considering it, you should know that there are some things about childbirth they're not telling you. Disgusting, horrifying things.
Our goal here isn't to talk you out of having kids (it'd suck to be the website that convinced mankind to go extinct). We just want you to be prepared so you don't run screaming from the hospital.
Webster's defines the placenta as: "the organ in most mammals, formed in the lining of the uterus by the union of the uterine mucous membrane with the membranes of the fetus, that provides for the nourishment of the fetus and the elimination of its waste products."
Urban Dictionary would describe it (if there was such and entry) as, "The lumpy, blood-soaked terror that comes out after the baby and will visit you in your nightmares for years to come."
This is a blobfish. A real placenta can be found here if you dare.
The upside of witnessing the birth of a placenta is that the image it burns into your soul will make you thankful for the six sex-free weeks you have ahead of you. The downside is that you will forever wonder if your baby had a previously unnoticed twin who could have went on to make you a fortune as the star of untold numbers of b-rated horror films.
Picture a vagina blowing a meat-bubble. Now imagine someone surgically attaching that meat-bubble to a newborn via a pulsating sausage casing.
Modern medicine is full of examples of "cures" that seem worse than the condition they are designed to treat (or in the case of episiotomies, prevent). For instance, the dreaded episiotomy. The word itself comes from the Greek "epison," which means "pubic region," and "-tomy" which, one can only assume, means "to cut the fuck out of."
In an episiotomy, a scalpel is used to create an incision that starts at the bottom of the vagina, and goes downward towards the rectum. As if this wasn't hard enough to watch without crying like the little girl that our high school gym teachers always knew we would turn out to be, the procedure is carried out at the same time the baby's head is forcing its way out.
This, but with scissors. And a vagina. And imagine a screaming baby coming out of the box.
Why would a highly trained, and over-paid professional do such a procedure? To keep the vagina from tearing, silly. To the layman (and by "layman" we mean weeping, trembling onlooker), this seems like breaking your own windows with bricks to keep the neighborhood kids from breaking them with baseballs.
So why do they do it? Remember that time Barney the dinosaur locked his keys in his car and tried to get in by climbing in thru the exhaust pipe? Well childbirth can be just like that. But in reverse. And with blood. And instead of an exhaust pipe, it's a vagina.
Yeah, just like that.
You might be tempted to think all the time you have spent watching clips of poo-porn on the internet would prepare you for this, but you would be wrong. We'll spare most of the smelly details since Cracked is a family site (as long as your family consists of alcoholic pop-culture junkies) but be assured that after the birth experience your view of poop will never be the same.
First off, the mom-to-be is going to take a big fat dump on the hospital bed. Yes, Hollywood tends to leave that part out.
Apparently, passing an 8-pound canned ham through your hoo-ha compresses the intestine and has a tendency to push any fecal material inside of it out of the body. Also, there will probably be no fewer than 10 people in the room watching it happen. Oddly, mom may not even know it has happened, and those who witnessed it will probably be too polite (or horrified) to say anything.
Secondly, the baby is gonna poo too. That isn't news. In fact, "baby-shit yellow" is a color available on the new Chevy Camaro. Oddly, that same color is not an option available for the baby's first duke. For the first few days the baby's bowel movements will be black, and have the consistency of fresh roofing tar. Also, it will be about as easy to clean as fresh roofing tar. They may also taste like fresh roofing tar, but who wants to eat fresh roofing tar just to make that comparison?
To put it in perspective: Have you ever spent a night drinking cheap beer, only to wake up with a headache, and a serious case of black diarrhea? It's a lot like that. Which begs the question, "How did the baby get Budweiser in the womb?" The answer of course is: Through the umbilical cord. Duh!
By "alien," we're not talking about the guys you picked up at The Home Depot to help deliver the baby. We mean the "Sigourney- Weaver-fighting" kind (whose birth scene prepares you for the gore, if not the pooping).
As it turns out, babies' heads are soft, and don't become hard until months or years after they're born. This explains why you don't usually see them at college parties, crushing beer cans with their foreheads. Well, this and the fact that they weren't invited since they cry all the time, and puke all over the place before the drinking even begins.
Either way, having a soft skull comes in handy when you're trying to be born without killing your mother in the process. Unfortunately, their heads don't instantly regain their shape once they pop out. It takes a day or two of looking like a butt plug before you can take your little-one hat shopping.
If the doctor feels that your baby is at risk of anything (juvenile diabetes, low birth-weight, high birth-weight, medium birth-weight), or if he just feels that he can charge you more, he may elect to hook up a fetal monitor. That doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, that is because "fetal monitor" is just a nice way of saying "a twisted metal thingy with wires coming out of it that we're going to screw right into your baby's freaking unborn head."
Now, the fetal monitor itself isn't all that scary looking. But the fact that they jam this thing into the babies soft spot while it is still in the womb, and they stick it in there far enough that it stays inside the skull until after the baby is born, will bring back vivid memories of that baby getting hooked up to the Matrix in the first movie.
"OK, now, nurse, hand me my power drill, please."
Couple that with the fact that a baby's heart slows way down during every contraction, which sets off a little alarm on the monitor similar to the one that goes off when a patient flatlines on Scrubs, and you may find that you have shit your pants before the whole thing is over. Don't feel bad though. Like we said, there is a lot of pooping going on at this point, so if you do let one slide, just motion towards the mother when she isn't looking, and plug your nose as if to say, "Yeah, I smell it too. It was her."
Births are really expensive. Even a complication-free birth is likely to cost upwards of $10,000 and if your baby comes out and so much as sneezes in the delivery room, this number is likely to start rolling up like a pinball score. Sure, maybe you're one of those fancy-pants families with this New Age "health insurance." But tack on the cost of the car seats, baby clothes, toys, diapers, bottles, play pens and aforementioned placenta memory-erasing Belgian ale, and you can plan on having spent more than your burger-flipping ass makes in a year before you even leave the hospital.
"Is it really worth it?"
So basically it's you letting another man touch your wife's private parts, then writing him a check. Then you watch him speed away in a Lexus on his way to a round of golf being played at some country club that you are now too poor to even clean the toilets of, let alone get a tee-time at. OK, we're probably taking it too far. We're sure they'd let you clean their toilets.